One of our PPI colleagues who is currently developing skills in digital technology takes stock of their avatar journey so far.
I was a participant on the original Avatar therapy, which took place 5 years ago and it helped me no end. I took part in the therapy as I suffer from psychosis and am now a consultant on the Avatar 2 PPI group, and am writing a blog about my future plans, which I am now able to do that, thanks to this therapy, which has now opened so many new doors for me.
Since I took part in the therapy, I have been able to gradually build up my confidence and self-belief. Recently with the help and support of Mind, a charity which specialises in helping people with mental health conditions get back into work, I have taken part in a Digital Skills Course. I think doing this is the first major step in getting another qualification, which will hopefully lead to a paid job.
I must confess that I was really nervous about taking part in the course as it would mean meeting a lot of new people. I wasn’t sure if I could distinguish between the abusive voice in my head and people talking in the background, which made me even more scared about doing the course.
However, thanks to Avatar, I was able to do this and I was able to push my fears to one side, which I had not thought would be possible.
The Avatar therapy has helped me to be able to tell the difference between people actually talking in the background and the abusive voice in my head, as the voice in my head now sounds computerised and is very different from hearing actual people’s voices. Standing up to the Avatar in the therapy sessions I attended greatly helped me as well.
I have been greatly encouraged by taking part in the Digital Skills course, which lasted for a period of 3 months and I made a new friend along the way as well. I know this is only an individual experience but the Avatar therapy may well benefit other people with similar conditions.
Later this year I am going to do another, slightly more advanced Digital Skills course, called “Level One”, which I am really looking forward to participating in.